WIKI for Dina Demalchuta says:

"Origins of this idea come from Jeremiah's letter to the Babylonian exiles: "Seek the peace of the city to which I have exiled you and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in the peace thereof you shall have peace" (Jeremiah 29:7). In the opinion of some, for the exiled Jews their submission to gentile rulers was viewed more as a "pragmatic recognition of brute force" than anything else...
The first to cite Jeremiah's message as a basis for laws concerning Jews in foreign lands was Mar Samuel, a Talmudic sage from Babylonia." (Cited in Faber, Salamon (1975). "Review of Dina de-Malkhuta Dina by Shmuel Shilo". Jewish Social Studies. 37 (3/4): 345–346.)

I've looked up Jeremiah 29:7 but didn't see any relevant reference to Dina Demalchuta.

Where does Shmuel cite Jeremiah?

  • I think Wikipedia here is just relying on the speculations of one academic. For an explanation of the source of dina d'malchusa dina based on sources, see this shiur by Rav Asher Weiss: youtube.com/watch?v=R1qnT8ERqR0
    – N.T.
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 1:48
  • 1
    Thanks for clarifying. Wikipedia's injection of Yirmiyahu is very strange. It doesn't appear in the Heb. Wiki article, nor in the source in the footnote in the English article or in an essay by Shmuel Shilo, the person whose book was reviewed in that source.
    – Harel13
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 21:14

2 Answers 2


As far as I can tell, this seems to have been a baseless theory thought up by Heinrich Graetz in his book History of the Jews, vol. II, ch. XIX (can be found here):

"The Prophet Jeremiah had given to the families which were exiled to Babylon, the following urgent exhortation as to their conduct in a foreign land: "Seek the peace of the city whither ye have been carried away captives." Samuel had transformed this exhortation into a religious precept: "The law of the state is binding law." To Jeremiah and Mar-Samuel Judaism owes the possibility of existence in a foreign country."

I say 'baseless' because though one might think to connect the verse with the concept, Graetz didn't clarify that Shmuel himself never made the connection, at least not in the sources before us. Note that it is known that Graetz often laced into his books various theories without properly basing them.

  • Thank you for the source. it really appears that this is merely academic speculation, not a source.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 7:45
  • @AlBerko this might interest you. I found it while looking up info for your question. It's an essay on Shmuel, including a theory on how he might have come up with the idea of DD"M - books.google.co.il/… see in particular pp. 80-84.
    – Harel13
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 10:47
  • Thank you, very interesting.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 13:20

Jeremiah 29:7:

וְדִרְשׁ֞וּ אֶת־שְׁל֣וֹם הָעִ֗יר אֲשֶׁ֨ר הִגְלֵ֤יתִי אֶתְכֶם֙ שָׁ֔מָּה וְהִתְפַּֽלְל֥וּ בַעֲדָ֖הּ אֶל־יְהֹוָ֑ה כִּ֣י בִשְׁלוֹמָ֔הּ יִהְיֶ֥ה לָכֶ֖ם שָׁלֽוֹם׃

Use this translation of the possuk:

And seek the peace of the city where I have exiled you and pray for it to the Lord, for in its peace you shall have peace.

Mishnah Avos 3 (2)

רַבִּי חֲנִינָא סְגַן הַכֹּהֲנִים אוֹמֵר, הֱוֵי מִתְפַּלֵּל בִּשְׁלוֹמָהּ שֶׁל מַלְכוּת, שֶׁאִלְמָלֵא מוֹרָאָהּ, אִישׁ אֶת רֵעֵהוּ חַיִּים בְּלָעוֹ.

Rabbi Hanina, the vice-high priest said: pray for the welfare of the government, for were it not for the fear it inspires, every man would swallow his neighbor alive.

Ikkar Tosfos Yom Tov comments on the word Government:

"That [means] the king and his ministers and his advisors who run his kingdom and administer law in the land. And that is why it did not say, "for the welfare of the king." So did the commentators explain.”


Yirmiyahu tells us to pray for the peace of the city in order to have peace ourselves.

Rabbi Hanina understands that we should pray for the welfare of the government.

Ikkar Tosfos Yom Tov understands that this means we should pray for those who run the kingdom and administer law in the land.

I deduce that we should observe the law of the land in order to be able to pray for those who administer law and hence to live in peace ourselves.

  • THat's correct, DD"M only appears in the Gemmora in the name of Shmuel. I'm looking where does he cite Jeremiah, as stated in WIKI.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 16:14
  • I seem to be misunderstood. I didn't ask about the origin of DD"M, I asked whether Shmuel connected his assertion to the verse in Jeremiah. I didn't see Shmuel basing his statement of DD"M on anything Biblical.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 7:44
  • I now understand; thanks for clarifying. Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 9:46

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